Sir LOMER GOUIN (Minister of Justice) moved the second reading of Bill No. 139, to amend the Bankruptcy Act.
He said: When introducing the bill I explained the purposes of the amendments. The main amendment is to change the system as to the trustees. Under the present law we have authorized trustees who are appointed by the Governor in Council. We propose to have the trustees chosen by the creditors. Under the present law the debtor assigns to the trustees. We change this system; we propose that a debtor should assign to the.creditors. He will assign willingly through an official receiver who will be a judicial officer in one or another of the different provinces, or he will be forced to assign on a petition granted by the court. In either case a custodian will be appointed-by the receiver when the assignment is made willingly, and by the judge on petition. The duties of the custodian are to take charge of the assets of the estate and to call the creditors to appoint the trustee. We propose to amend the law for various reasons, among others for the purpose of authorizing the sale of real estate properties that are subject to hypothec in the province of Quebec in the same mode as we now proceed in that province in connection with sales by the sheriff. Another amendment is to restore to the landlords the privileges which they enjoyed, before the law of 1919, under the legislation of the different provinces. We propose also to provide that the debtor shall not be authorized to propose a composition between his creditors and himself until after the assignment; while another authorizes the official receiver to compel the appearance of the debtor before him for examination in regard to the causes of his assignment, the disposal of his property, and so forth. There are minor amendments, consequent upon the main ones which I have just outlined.